Sissy training is the process wherein submissive people are instructed or "trained" to adopt stereotypical feminine characteristics, behavior and activities. The sissy is guided by a dominant, who offers both praise and punishment. Sissy training is a subset of sissification or forced feminization and is usually a part of or combined with BDSM role play and a general BDSM lifestyle. The submissive, or sissy, is frequently a heterosexual man and the dominant is frequently a female-identifying person. However, sissy training is not exclusive to any specific sexuality or gender.
Sissy training can encompass a wide variety of presentations and acts. Some sissies will shave their body hair, wear make up, cross dress or change their voices to adopt a feminine appearance. These may be done by choice or in response to a dominant's demands. Sissies are often expected to adopt a demure or compliant attitude and demeanor that is not just submissive, but also craving humiliation and degradation by appearing meek and weak-willed.
For some, sissy training is situational and is only pleasurable as part of a scene. For others, sissy training is a lifestyle. While situational sissy training will encompass frilly outfits, pacifiers and more, sissies who choose the lifestyle outside of the home may wear frilly underwear or other garments under their public clothes.
As with other aspects of BDSM, sissy training may or may not include sex and sexual acts. For some, gratification is gained through service to the dominant that does not involve sexual touch for either partner. This can include cleaning, cooking, household chores and other aspects of domestic life that have been presented as part of the “female role.”
In a sexual context, sissy training can incorporate many aspects of BDSM play along with other types of sex - if the dominant chooses. Because training is a key aspect of attaining the role of sissy, there is an expectation of failure (even if it is just in the eyes of the dominant). Punishment and humiliation are frequently an integral part of sissy training and can be administered through spanking, flogging, caning, paddling, verbal abuse, worship (particular feet), forced oral sex, anal penetration and more.
Sissy training is also a popular, though controversial, subgenre of BDSM porn. Some transgender activists fear it blurs the lines between cross-dressing and transgender identity. Other activists dislike the notion that a female identity is portrayed as inherently degrading.